Café Levinsky 41
Tel Avivi like to get their caffeine hit from a branch of cheap and cheerful chain Cofix, but instead try Café Levinsky 41, a hipster hole in the wall at 41 Levinsky Street. It’s so tiny that the seating area is the back of a truck parked outside.
On Saturdays (the sabbath) most public transport shuts down, so it’s a great excuse to hit the beach – there’s 14 kilometres of it. Bring a bat and ball: all day long you’ll hear the hypnotic plip-plop-plip of matkot (beach tennis).
Tel Aviv has some of the coolest street art on the planet. You’ll see it everywhere but to find the best head to the gentrifying Florentin neighbourhood. Guy Sharett runs a tour that teaches Hebrew from the graffiti.
If Tel Aviv is known for one architectural style, it’s Bauhaus – more than 4,000 examples make up the White City, a Unesco World Heritage Site. At the Bauhaus Centre (77 Dizengoff Street) you can buy books and souvenirs and pick up a self-guided audio tour.
Cycle to the ancient port city of Jaffa, then wander its lanes, browse the flea market and tuck into shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce, above) at Café Puaa. If you like the vintage decoration and furniture you’re sitting on, you can buy it to take home.
Israelis add the suffix ‘-oosh’ to the end of words to make them sound cutesy. ‘Hi’ and ‘bye’ become haioosh and bahyoosh, with the stress on the first syllable.
Cathay Pacific flies to Tel Aviv from Hong Kong four times a week.